Eating Out: Honeymee

As someone who loves honey (I’ve been known to eat spoonfuls of it on occasion…sorry-not-sorry), I’ve always been intrigued by Honeymee, a soft serve chain establishment whose signature offering is “true milk ice cream with a 100% natural honeycomb chip.”

So, when we happened to be lunching on Sawtelle recently, I insisted we make a post-lunch stop at the Honeymee location down the block.


Honeymee has simple & trendy look, with wood shelves running along one wall sporting blocks of “beeswax” and jars of honey artistically spaced out. Continue reading


Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 12-15

Week 12 – Technical: Macro [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6]
Life is in the details. Get in close and show us the details we usually miss. You don’t need a macro lens to shoot a macro shot.

I don’t, in fact, have a macro lens – I do have a zoom lens, however, which I used to get a unique angle on a tiny potted evergreen in an Air BnB we were staying in for a wedding in Rhode Island. Some post-production on my phone (love the app A Color Story) completed the shot.

Dogwood 2018 Week 12

Week 13 – Creative: Leading Lines [Shot with iPhone 6s 4.15mm f/22]
Back by popular demand, use lines to lead the viewer to your subject. Continue reading

Out and About in Seville

After our first couple of days in Madrid, we moved on to our other Spanish destination – Seville (or Sevilla). Since I visited the city in college, I have loved Seville, and this trip was no exception – it’s smaller and a little older-feeling (in the best way) than Madrid, but there’s still plenty to do and see, and the winding streets got us (very slightly) more prepared for our time in Morocco’s web of alleyways. We spent our two nights there hitting the major sights, strolling, and eating.

Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol

When we first arrived, we settled into our hotel – the perfectly nice Hotel Bécquer ($135/night for a Standard Double) which had a great rooftop view of the city – and set off on a pre-dinner wander to secure flamenco tickets for the following day. Before long, we came upon the impressive Metropol Parasol (free on the main level, 3 euros to ascend), a wooden mushroom-esque structure that lends shade to a large plaza, has walking paths on its top (we didn’t make it up there, however), and Roman ruins in its basement. Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 10-11

Week 10 – Vision: Selective Color [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
I know, I know. Yuck. Selective color can be cringeworthy, however, when done right, it brings compelling focus to the subject.

I didn’t really plan ahead for this challenge, and instead played around with selective color filters in Lightroom on some shots I’d taken on a trip to Lake Arrowhead with some friends until I got a result I liked (the lovely Jen La Bella, a talented LA event designer, served as my model).

Dogwood 2018 Week 10

Week 11 – Composition: Negative Space [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6]
 Minimize the composition to isolate your subject. The composition should be simple, thereby drawing your viewer to the subject. Continue reading

Out and About in Madrid

If you’ve been following along with some of my recent blog posts, you’ll know that our last big vacation was to Spain & Madrid (with some layover stops along the way). Beginning with Madrid, I’ve covered where we stayed, what we ate, and one particularly decadent meal. Now for the final piece of the puzzle – what we did!

the plazas of madrid

We are wanderers by nature, and Madrid is a beautiful city, so we did a lot of walking around and taking in that beauty (notoriously, on my first trip to the city as an 18-year-old, my best friend and traveling companion kept having to stop me from walking into the street as I stared blissfully up at all the gorgeous architecture). Continue reading

Eating Out in Madrid

There are so many reasons I love to travel, but I’m not gonna lie to you, a big one of them is eating. For any given trip, before we go I have crafted a list of more eateries in the chosen location than any one person would be able to visit in a lifetime, let alone a few days. Large segments of the trip itself are spent debating where we should eat next, and Yelp/TripAdvisor are always close at hand (for the record, I found TripAdvisor more helpful in Spain and Morocco).

Chocolateria San Gines

Madrid was no exception to this food-centric rule – while our jet lag sometimes had us eating at weird times, we nevertheless did our damnedest to enjoy all the treats the city had to offer. Here are a few of the highlights… Continue reading

Eating Out in Madrid: DiverXo

So, I started to write up a post with some of our eating highlights from our trip to Madrid last year and quickly realized that first, I had to give DiverXo its own post. DiverXo is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid’s Tetuán neighborhood, a little ways outside the city center (we used the subway to get out there and a cab to get back). It is the work of quite-possibly-insane Chef David Muñoz, and if you hate those unending dinners with a bunch of little dishes, you won’t like DiverXo. Luckily, I very much enjoy those dinners, so while often bizarre and definitely indulgent, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


Upon entering DiverXo, you quickly realize what you’re in for. Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 7-9

Week 7 – Composition: Fill the Frame [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Fill the frame with your subject, no background. You will need to get up close and personal, or use a good zoom lens.

I took a bunch of shots for this challenge on a wander around my immediate neighborhood, but it was this simple, graphic plant that won out for the week.

Dogwood 2018 Week 7

Week 8 – Technical: Zoom Burst [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6]
By changing the focal length during long exposure you can add movement to your frame, producing leading lines within your frame. Continue reading

Where We Stayed: Madrid

We actually stopped in Madrid twice on our excursion to Spain and Morocco, once on the way in and once on the way out (we flew in and out of the city). We stayed at two different hotels in two different neighborhoods, and both worked out well, though our second hotel was definitely the more luxurious option. Still, both are worth mentioning, so here we go!

Note that we booked through Chase, and the pricing reflects what we paid – make sure to check on your own.

Artrip Hotel
Valencia, 1128012 Madrid, Spain
$125/night for a Standard Room

The Artrip Hotel, our first stop, was located in the Lavapies neighborhood, a 15 minute walk from the Atocha Train Station and a 15 minute walk from the Puerta del Sol (central plaza in Madrid). Luckily, Madrid is a highly walkable city, so we were able to traverse all the major points of interest from both of our hotels.

The Artrip was good beginning for us – small, modern, and clean, but nothing fancy. Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 5-6

Week 5 – Wild Card: Photographer’s Choice [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Capture an image on your terms; who, what, where, when, why, how … it’s all up to you. Caveat: You must tell us your intent.

We took a hike the weekend of Week 5, and when I spotted this determined little scrubby bush, I set out to make it my subject with the intention of centering it in frame and highlighting how it sat smack-dab in the middle of the path, refusing to be tamed.

Dogwood 2018 Week 5

Week 6 – Vision: Alternating Rhythm [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Alternate patterns of light to bring depth and rhythm to the photograph. Continue reading